Search form

‘The Flying Sailor’ Wins Sundance 2023 Animated Short Film Prize

Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis continue to rack up festival wins with their 2D/3D film, inspired by the 1917 Halifax Explosion, that tells the tale of the man who was hurled two kilometers by the blast and lived to tell.

Academy Award-nominated and Palme d’Or-winning duo Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis’ 2D/3D animated short, The Flying Sailor, has been awarded The Short Film Jury Award: Animation at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, which returned in person this year to Park City, Utah.

The film draws inspiration from the 1917 Halifax Explosion, the largest non-nuclear explosion in history, and the story of one man who was hurled two kilometers by the blast and lived to tell the tale. Tilby and Forbis bring time to a standstill, depicting a few seconds in a man’s life as he sails through the air, facing impending doom.

In making the award, the jury stated: This beautiful portrait of both an instant and a life lifted us out of our seats and took us on an emotional, innovative, and explosive ride.

Read Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby Mark a Triumphant Return with ‘The Flying Sailor’

Since its world premiere at the 2022 Annecy International Animation Film Festival, the film has garnered more than 20 festival selections and won six awards (now seven!), including the CFI Award for Best Canadian Animation from the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Best Animation from the New York City Short Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival in Brazil. It was also named Official Selection at the Toronto International Film Festival, the American Film Institute’s AFI Fest, the London International Animation Festival, and the New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival in Japan, among others.

Written, directed, and animated by Forbis and Tilby, and produced and executive produced by David Christensen (NFB), The Flying Sailor is presented by The New Yorker and the National Film Board of Canada and is currently streaming in The New Yorker’s screening room.

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.